Draft Wall or Turner? Try Cousins instead

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Some aren’t so sure John Wall’s a slam dunk as the No. 1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft. But the debate usually revolves around Wall or Evan Turner.

Time to add DeMarcus Cousins to that mix?

The Wages of Wins advises new Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonisis to give that idea some serious thought.

The 6-11 center did turn in an impressive 15.61 PAWS 40 (for more on that stat, click http://www.dailythunder.com/modern-stats/), or better than anyone else in most mock draft’s top five. That includes guys like Turner, Wesley Johnson, Derrick Favors, and Wall.

(To see how PAWS 40 did in rating previous draft prospects, click here and here. Like most draft boards, it has its hits and misses.)

Valuing Cousins over Wall isn’t a new idea, either.

Wall’s flashier, but Cousins put up better tempo-free stats in 2009-10 and arguably was the most important player in Kentucky’s roster. Also, Cousins will probably have an easier transition to the NBA. Big men usually do.

But does all that mean the Wizards should really take Cousins? After all, using only a freshman season of stats doesn’t provide the complete picture of how a player will project into the NBA. Should Wall get a bump because he’s more mature and less likely to make dumb off-court decisions? And what about in five years when both will finally be seasoned vets? Who’s better at that point?

So many questions. Leonisis better consider more than just PAWS 40.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: